INTERVIEW: Torae & Marco Polo Pt. 2

Torae and Marco Polo at DC's Club Five

Right after I apologized for not preparing an interview for Marco Polo, Torae decided to take over the Q&A. This time, there was more room for humor as the two friends covered Marco's "smoking problem," his recent album Port Authority, and more on the Double Barrel LP.

Torae: Marco, why do you smoke so much?
Marco Polo: Um, because that's all I have left.

(I remind  the NY natives they can say whatever they want. We're uncensored after 8pm, for your information.)

T: Marco, why do your beats have that crazy knock the way they do?
MP: Because I have a lot of pent-up anger and frustration in my life.

T: Were you satisfied with the success of how Port Authority did into the stores and into the people?
MP: Absolutely not in the stores but for the people, yes. I feel like it reached the right people, I feel like people know me now because of that album if you hadn't heard of me and got the album you got the idea of what I'm bringing to the table as a producer and as an artist. So in that respect I was happy. Did I sell a lot of CDs and was the distribution good and all that other industry bullshit? No, but it's all good and you keep it moving and make new music.

T: No doubt. A lot of people say that you work with old rappers or old school artists. Why did you decide to work with the artists you did on Port Authority?
MP: I don't work with old artists or old school artists, I work with dope artists. So fuck all that bullshit, I work with people I want to work with. Anyone that's on my record I feel is relevant today, whether they were relevant ten years or now they're dope artists and we brought the best out of each other when we collaborated. That's my whole philosophy. 

T: I'm gonna cheat a little bit. I know you're working on Port Authority 2 kinda putting ideas together. Are you gonna work with new artists or are you gonna still keep it to the original vein of the first Port Authority album?
MP: I'm definitely not trying to reveal any names but you can expect some repeat appearances and definitely some new appearances but still keeping it in the same realm. Just some hip hop shit, I'm ain't with all that fucking new trendy hip hop bullshit. I make hip hop and that's just what I'm trying to focus on. Keep the same formula for any fans checking for it, you it's gonna be the same shit just bigger and better. More boom-bapping, angrier. It's gonna be shorter than the first one that's for sure. That's all I can really say at this point.

T: As far as new producers are concerned, you definitely high up there in the ranks of one of the dopest new producers out there. Explain to the people why you decided to work with Torae on the full-length LP when you could have worked with any other artist out there?
MP: I mean really having Torae around is good protection being a small dude in New York and that was the main...(Laughs) Nah, I'm just kidding. Yo, Torae's a beast on the real, his work ethic is crazy. As producer in the studio it's really important to be able to express ideas and to work with people that are open to suggestions. I think with me and him working in the lab, you know it's a two-way street. I bring the best out of him, he brings the best out of me. It's important to be able to make the best product and there's no egos involved when I work with Tor. We're just trying to make the best product possible and these days it's rare, especially with new artists, to have a lot of buzz like Torae to be grounded and to be able to do that. He has that humility in his life. He just wants to work hard and that's what I'm trying to do as well. I don't want no other bullshit, I just wanna make music. That's what we're about.

A big thanks goes out to Tor and Marco, two dudes making real, quality hip hop. Again, a reminder to go cop Torae's Daily Conversation and Marco Polo's Port Authority

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